November 2013

* Dire and Crooked

"As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend."


"I've been around iron all my life ever since I was a kid. I was born and raised in iron ore country - where you could breathe it and smell it every day. And I've always worked with it in one form or another.

Gates appeal to me because of the negative space they allow. They can be closed but at the same time they allow the seasons and breezes to enter and flow. They can shut you out, or shut you in. And in some ways there is no difference."
(Bob Dylan)


If you go to some of the most powerful people in society. People who run large corporations. You say to the head of BMW. What is your ambition? You are sitting on billions of dollars, you could do anything. They'll say something like: "I want to build the safest motor car."

This is your life's ambition?

I admire the ambition of religion. The ambition is to save people's souls. If you went to a psychotherapist, and you asked, what is your goal? And they would answer: "to save the troubled psyche."

Ok, so with what kind of power? How are you going to do this? And the psychotherapist doesn't always know. They see maybe two patients a week, they have a cat in the office, they are 60, and you ask them, "that's how you're going to change the world?"

We have the BMW on one side, and on the other side, we have the therapist with their cat. Power and insight have been divorced. What's admirable about, say, the catholic church, is not their not-so-great ideas, but their ambition to save people's souls married up to a revenue of several billion dollars-per-year. That's interesting. That's why they do it, and that's why they have power.
(Alain De Botton)


Mark Knopfler


"I don't like definitions, but if there is a definition of freedom, it would be when you have control over your reality to transform it, to change it, rather than having it imposed upon you. You can't really ask for more than that."

The town is tucked away in a sparkling little bay, and is so small that everybody is well aware of everybody else's foibles.

The oil company is run by an eccentric billionaire who would really rather have a comet named after him than own all the oil in the world. And what could have been a standard plot about conglomerates and ecology, etc., turns instead into a wicked study of human nature.

The two men are sent to the small town to buy it up, lock, stock and beachline. In exchange for buying the beach, they get access to a North Sea oil-refining complex.

This is a simpler job than it appears, since a lot of the locals are all too willing to absorb the company for its millions of dollars. By selling their beach, it enables them to search the bright lights of the City.

The problem is, there is a cheerful philosopher who lives in a shack on the beach. It turns out that the beach has been the legal property of Ben's family for four centuries (due to an ancestor who helped a king).

Ben doesn't want to sell, saying "Who'd look after the beach then? It would go to pieces in a short matter of time."

The two men fall under the spell of the town, they settle into its rhythms, become wrapped up in its intrigues, and slowly their emotions and their minds are absorbed by a place whose charms are seductive.

Nothing is more absorbing than human personalities, developed with love and humor.

By the time the billionaire reappears at the end of the film (to personally handle the negotiations with old Ben) our story could hardly have anything but a happy ending. But it's a fairly close call.(RE)

Leonard Cohen

"The last refuge of the insomniac is a sense of superiority to the sleeping world."

"Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash."

"Children show scars like medals. Lovers use them as a secrets to reveal. A scar is what happens when the word is made flesh."

"Never make a decision when you need to pee."

"Avoid the flourish. Do not be afraid to be weak. Do not be ashamed to be tired. You look good when you're tired. You look like you could go on forever."

"How can I begin anything new with all of yesterday in me?"

"As our eyes grow accustomed to sight they armour themselves against wonder."

"Act the way you'd like to be and soon you'll be the way you act."

"Love is a fire. It burns everyone. It disfigures everyone. It is the world's excuse for being ugly."

"You lose your grip, and then you slip ... into the masterpiece."